Saturday, July 1, 2017

"How do I control my thoughts"

The other day someone asked me,  How do I control my thoughts?

If I knew how to control my thoughts I'd surely be making inroads towards enlightenment!

Having said that I have learnt to reduce the number of thoughts by not paying attention to every thought that transits through my head. 

Thoughts are like a crowded walkway. There is so much action on a busy path, yet we find our way and reach our desired destination. 

Just imagine if we started banging into everyone we met, we sure would end up black and blue and nowhere near our destination. 

We get through the road by finding the gaps amongst the people and winding our way through. We rarely bang into other people. We just continue on our journey focusing on the gaps. 

Similarly we have to find the pauses in between the thoughts. On an average we have 60, 000 thoughts a day. Just imagine taking each thought literally and going along with that thought. We would be a mess. If you were to concentrate more on the pauses and less on the thoughts, just like you would look more for the gaps than on banging into people, you will soon reach the road less traveled and a mind less cluttered.

Energy goes where attention goes. The more you focus on the pauses the lesser the hold of the thoughts. Just don't pay attention to the thoughts. Find the gaps and keep moving ahead. 


Sometimes you may meet a friend on the road and continue the rest of the journey with them. This is a bit like catching a positive thought. You can then go on with that thought for a while.
But sometimes you may start following your enemy or an ex :) and this will invariably lead to pain.

A negative thought is the same -the more you get attached to it the more it takes you down a negative route.

You cannot fight thoughts - if you try , you end up fighting - you only can resist and walk away . Just refuse to play the game. Watch the thoughts without attachment or judgement and they will loosen their hold on you. :)

Spiritual warrior (in training )

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Inner conflict becomes outer conflict

The other day some one came up to me and asked me, why there is so much conflict in the world? I wish I knew the answer and I could make it all go away!

Every time there is an act of terror or violence, traditional and social media goes into a frenzy. Messages of love, hatred, vendetta, justice start to float around. 

It's heartbreaking and gut wrenching, but at the same time it does not  feel shocking anymore. Incessant, unrelenting news about these acts of terrorism and violence is desensitizing us towards the horror of the lives lost. We forget that these horrendous acts are wreaking havoc and there is actual pain on all involved. 

Is conflict and violence the norm? Will we never see a conflict free world?

History testifies to the fact that conflict is as old as humanity itself. Human history on Earth has suffered a very bloody past. Innumerable lives have been lost due to wars over territory, religion, ideologies, and greed. Having said that, we are actually living in the most peaceful times since the beginning of humanity. The reason we feel its the worst is because now we are more aware and informed. 

We have incredibly complex and powerful minds that are capable of creating our own reality. Everything that we see around us is a creation of our minds. The good, bad, beautiful and ugly; all was created in our mind before it manifested into reality. 

So will it ever be possible to live in a conflict free world? Or will it remain a dream?

Personally, I think dreams can become reality. Look around—Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is already a reality. If man can conquer  land, sea, and sky and now even other planets and the moon, get whatever information that is desired at the click of a button, then we can surely make inroads into a conflict free world.

Conflict in the outer world is nothing but a reflection of conflict in the inner world. Sadly we are constantly at war with our own inner selves. We are in conflict with our desires, our values, our projections, our ideologies, our belief systems, and our expectations. These inner conflicts lead to agitation of the mind, and an agitated mind is the cause of conflicts and violence. 

The answer to “Why there are so many conflicts in the world?” and “Will they ever end?” therefore lies right within us.

If we desire a conflict free world we need to first establish a conflict free mind. A mind that is at peace is a mind free from agitation and disharmony. A mind that is centered and connected is one that understands that divisions based on cast, creed, color, and nationalities are all creations of the mind and not real. The onus to reduce conflict, violence and terrorism therefore lies in our own hands. Our thoughts, words and actions will determine the kind of world we live in.

The theory of the observer effect states that particles exist in a state of probability until observed or measured. This means that the nature of particles could change according to the observer. 

I believe that whatever the observer chooses to focus on keeps showing up. With every thought we think, every word we speak and every act we undertake, we are partaking in the creation or destruction of our world.

Negative events put us in a state of fear and the media keeps adding to that fear, mistrust and anger. We all feel afraid and conflicted. We allow ourselves to get swayed by the competing ideologies that come blasting via information channels. We are in a constant state of distraction and agitation. We believe what we see and what we hear. We allow ourselves to be influenced by the outer world to such an extent that we don't even acknowledge our inner world. But the inner world is where creation happens.

In order to create a conflict free world, we need to create a conflict free mind: a mind that is free from fear and free from constant surges of “not enough-ness!” Not good enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not educated enough, and so on.

Allowing fear and disallowing truth have duped us into believing in a zero sum game. If I am right, someone is wrong, if I win, someone needs to lose. The Darwinian concept of survival of the fittest has permeated our psyche and too many want to survive at the cost of another.

Terrorists and perpetrators of political or religious violence lack self-confidence, self-love, and self-empathy and therefore look for validation from outside. 

If we don't get what we are looking for, we get angry and when someone comes along promising us acceptance, belonging, and love we feel validated. 

Now it becomes a question of us against them. If we are right, they must be wrong.  If only the strong can survive, I need to show strength; and in this desire to appear strong we forget that the only thing that matters is humanity. In our ignorance of truth we forget to see the interconnectedness of all living beings. We believe in territorial, racial, ideological and physical boundaries. We make ourselves smaller than who we really are and in our smallness we create conflicts of mind and body. 

The only way we can contribute to lessening the conflict is by first reducing our own inner conflicts, meditating on love, peace, and forgiveness toward ourselves. Once we focus on our own wellbeing we can become more secure with the opinions of others.

An agitated mind creates agitation in the outer world, which impacts all of us. Even though we are miles away physically, we are all connected. As long as there is pain and suffering anywhere in the world we will continue to suffer.

Each one of us has a moral obligation towards creating a brave new world. 

It’s a cliché that our world is technologically advanced but we have long way to go in terms of psychological and moral advancement. We need to live in a world where we see ourselves for who we really are. The sooner we recognize this truth, the sooner we can start to create a world that we really desire.